Depop brings virtual frugality to gaming with The Sims

Launched in 2000, The Sims is owned by gaming company Electronic Arts and was an early example of a virtual, immersive world. Since then, there has been a renewed interest in fashion as fashion increasingly moves towards metaverse experiences, and this partnership marks one of the first times The Sims has allowed players to select and purchase individual pieces of clothing. In February, designer Jonathan Simkhai created an experience in collaboration with digital fashion designer Mishi McDuff, whose Blueberry company generates approximately $1 million a year from The Sims. Designer Jeremy Scott created a Sims experience in 2019 and British menswear designer Stefan Cooke partnered with the platform in 2021.

“The idea that people want to represent themselves and experiment creatively and be authentic to who they are is having a moment,” said George Pigula, lead producer of The Sims 4 High School Years. “Creating a Sim is like creating your own avatar. People don’t want to be your standard white guy with a white shirt. They want to have options.”

Partnering with a Gen Z platform is also beneficial for The Sims. According to data from gaming analytics firm Geeiq, The Sims 4 audience is 61 percent female and 54 percent under the age of 24, with a strong affinity for fashion and beauty, making it fertile territory for Depop. It reports 39 million players and records daily active players in 2020.

“The game is a cultural institution that remains relevant to young people around the world and has a nostalgic cultural cachet for many more people, so it makes for the perfect collaboration for Depop and our community,” said Dool. Some fashion brands have been testing digital apparel as a potential additional revenue stream, but Depop hopes this partnership will bring more customers in real life.

“The value to us as a brand is to test these spaces and see how our community reacts and interacts with each other, as we are ultimately a community-led company,” he says. “If a Sim buying second-hand from the in-game thrift store encourages someone to do that for themselves, IRL, that’s a great moment where it comes full circle.”

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